Gopher apple (Licania michauxii) is a hardy, low-growing, woody perennial shrub that occurs naturally in sandhills, pine flatwoods, scrubby flatwoods and scrub. It is often confused with runner oak, which has a similar growth habit and is found in similar habitats. Gopher apple can bloom year-round.
“Flower Friday” is a weekly profile of a different Florida native wildflower.
White birds-in-a-nest (Macbridea alba) is a rare and unique wildflower endemic to only four counties in Florida’s Panhandle. Its flowers bloom May through July and attract mostly bees. It is a state-listed endangered and a US-listed threatened species. The plant gets its common name from the way its white mature flowers resemble birds encircling a green “nest” formed by bracts. The unopened white flower buds appear egglike nestled within the nest.
Grassleaf coneflower (Rudbeckia graminifolia) is a Florida endemic perennial wildflower. Its brick-red solitary blooms are distinctly different than most Florida Rudbeckia species. It typically flowers in summer and occurs naturally savannas and along moist roadsides.
Also known as Seaside prairie-gentian or Catchfly prairie-gentian, Marsh gentian (Eustoma exaltatum) is an annual wildflower with showy purple to lavender (or sometimes white) flowers. It can bloom throughout the year and occurs naturally in salt marshes, dunes, and coastal flats.
Lizard’s tail (Saururus cernuus) is a perennial aquatic wildflower. Its tiny, white blooms are borne in early spring through summer and attract a variety of pollinators. They are also eaten by foraging ducks such as wood ducks. Both the common and genus name refer to the flower’s resemblance to a lizard’s tail.